Dear Archbishop Prentice,
I have researched the trail of the missing Bishop Wm. A Nichols and have found out a few facts. William Nichols was pastor of the Federated Church of Middletown Springs from 1943 -1947, according to church records, as listed in A Gem in the Hills, a town history by Frances B. Krouse, 2002, p. 145. A footnote states "Died at the Parsonage leaving the church without a pastor".
There is no record of his burial in either of the Middletown Springs cemeteries. I intend to research the town Births & Deaths records and the Vermont State Dept.of Health records for any other information on his burial and/or cause of death.
The Federated Church was formed in 1924 from the Congregational Church and other Protestant denominations. In 1971 the name was changed to The Community Church of Middletown Springs, its current name. The church is currently, once again , without a pastor.
A former pastor, Phillip Crossman, tells me that there may be more information about Pastor Nichols in the minutes of church meetings during the period of his tenure. I will have a look.
I vaguely remember an elderly resident who died in 2005 at the age of 97 telling me about someone who fit the description of Mr. Nichols and it seems to me that she suggested a "hint of scandal". A current resident remembers her Aunt Marguerite talking about "paying a visit" to the new pastor, Mr.Nichols.
I will let you know what else I find.
Sincerely, David P. Wright, President Middletown Springs Historical Society
I have reviewed the Archives' holdings related to the Rev. William Albert Nichols. Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate much information on Fr. Nichols.
I was able to find his last entry from the Episcopal clerical directories, which was included in the 1932 directory. I have attached a PDF document of this information. I am also providing a full transcription of Nichols' entry below:
NICHOLS, William A. (Diocese of Long Island) 49 Harbor View, Forth Wadsworth,
Staten Island, New York City--
Religious Editor "The Telegram," 1929--.
Religious Editor New York "Sun" and Brooklyn "Standard Union."
Rector, Church of the Ascension, Brooklyn, New York, 1927-1929.
It is possible that there might be some information held on Fr. Nichols from at the parish that he served as Rector. You might also want to contact the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island.
Church of the Ascension, Brooklyn, New
Diocese of Long Island
I hope that this information is helpful to you. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any other assistance.